John Henry denies that Red Sox players demanded Bobby V. be fired

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Red Sox owner John Henry, who refuted the part of the report from Jeff Passan in which players specifically demanded that Bobby Valentine be fired:

“What Tom, Larry and I heard in the player meeting was one overriding sentiment. Players felt responsible for the record. They weren’t blaming injuries or anyone but themselves. At the same time they openly spoke about what could improve in addition to their play. They made substantive points. We addressed those points. No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby should be or needed to be replaced.

Well, someone’s lying then, because Passan’s sources told him that players did, in fact, say they no longer wanted to play for Valentine.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth. Passan’s source has whatever his motivation is. Henry clearly has a motivation to restore some semblance or order to the proceedings.

It’s interesting, though, that Henry also spends a lot of time talking about how no one has ever revealed the substance of those sorts of meetings, which they’ve had often over the years.  Well, they’re doing it now, truthfully or otherwise, so even if his claims that all is rosy are mostly true, something is amiss, it would seem.

The deadline is 8 PM ET Monday for Shohei Ohtani situation to be resolved

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.